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Au clair de la lune

Au clair de la lune, mon ami Pierrot
Prête-moi ta lume,* pour écrire un mot.
Ma chandelle est morte, je n'ai plus de feu.
Ouvre-moi ta porte, pour l'amour de Dieu.

Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit
Je n'ai pas de lume, je suis dans mon lit.
Va chez la voisine, je crois qu'elle y est
Car dans sa cuisine, on bat le briquet.

Au clair de la lune, l'aimable Lubin
Frappe chez la brune, elle répond soudain
"Qui frappe de la sorte ? ", il dit à son tour
"Ouvrez votre porte pour le Dieu d'Amour"

Au clair de la lune, on n'y voit qu'un peu
On chercha la lume, on chercha du feu
En cherchant d'la sorte je n'sais c'qu'on trouva
Mais je sais qu'la porte sur eux se ferma.

Under the moonlight, my friend Pierrot,
Lend me your light, so I could write a word.
My candle is out, I've no more light.
Open your door for me, for the love of God.

Under the moonlight, Pierrot replied,
I've no light; I'm in my bed.
Go next door, I believe that she is in,
For in the kitchen, someone lit a match.

Under the moonlight, friendly Lubin
Knocks at the brunette's door, she suddenly replies
"Who's knocking this way", he says in his turn
"Open your door, for the god of love."

Under the moonlight, little can be seen
The light was looked for, fire was looked for
Searching this way, I don't know what was found
But I do know that the door, on them was shut.

*In modern versions, this word is "plume", meaning pen. "Lume" is derived from "lumière", meaning "light".


Does anyone understand how to use OpenID? A friend of mine has traveled to Thailand and has a Google blog ... or perhaps it's blogger.com ... I find it confusing. Anyway, I'd like to post comments to her blog, but don't want to bother joining whatever blog site it is. The good thing is that the blog site says that I can post with my LJ ID. The bad thing is that when I try to do so, an error message says: "Your OpenID credentials could not be verified." The OpenID site says that with a LJ, I already have an OpenID, but I haven't found a place to sign in at the OpenID site. Does anyone have any idea what I might be doing wrong?

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The Art of Urban Blight

Through a link from cynodd's mother, I found this photo exhibition in Time Magazine Online entitled "Detroit's Beautiful, Horrible Decline." It's from a series by 2 French photographers, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, entitled The Ruins of Detroit (click on the arrow to the bottom left to scroll through the pictures on their site).

It's hard for people outside of Detroit to imagine how many abandoned buildings there really are in this city, but Marchand and Meffre have photos of 14 of those that used to be important and/or beautiful. These photos are really worth a look for the beauty of the photos themselves and for the lost potential revealed in them.


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What You Will

This should be the last post about my recent trip to London. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I visited Westminster Abbey. Photographs were not allowed inside and I'd previously taken some photos of the outside on another trip, so I only took one on my visit there this time. It would probably be better to post this on Monday or to have posted it on Thursday, but this photo is a portion of the wall above the main door at Westminster Abbey displaying the statues of 9 "martyrs," according to the tour guide. I've captured 3 of them here, the one in the middle being Martin Luther King, Jr.:

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I think I mentioned in my last post, too, that I'd gone to the Novello Theatre Saturday night, which was the closing night, to see whether I could get a return ticket for Hamlet, but there were none to be had by the time I arrived. So, I wandered around central London fairly aimlessly on Saturday night (coffee shop, bookstore, etc), but returned to the Novello Theatre, which really was on my way back to the hotel anyway, at the time the play was due to be over.

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If there is anyone reading this who might like to see Hamlet on DVD, please sign this petition. (For those on Facebook, joining the group on Facebook isn't the same as signing the petition. I think the Facebook group is mainly for updates. According to the latest update there, though, Michael Boyd, the artistic director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, has been in contact with the petition's author and is reading the petition with interest.)

Sunday, which was my last full day in London, I went to see Twelfth Night. This is the story of a twin brother and sister who are shipwrecked and find themselves in an unfamiliar land, each thinking the other is dead. The sister, Viola, passes herself off as a boy to work for the local duke, Orsino, and is sent on his behalf to court Olivia. Unfortunately, Olivia falls in love with Viola (as the boy, Cesario) while Viola falls in love with Orsino. There are several other characters in the households of Orsino and Cesario involved in side storylines, one of which involves making Olivia's steward, Malvolio, believe that Olivia is actually in love with him. (A mean trick, I thought, but I guess it would have played well to people who were victims of a class system.) It turned out that my ticket for Twelfth Night was very good, row K in the stalls, and I really enjoyed it.

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Overall, the Shakespeare audience seems tougher than the musical theatre audience. Neither of the 2 Shakespearean plays got a full standing ovation, but Oliver! did.

Sunday evening, I was sent to a French restaurant at the Covent Garden Market for dinner by the hotel's concierge, who was French. As I was looking around the Market area for the restaurant, I came across a sextet who were performing in an open area of the Market near a pub. (Some of the pub's patrons were actually eating and drinking outside, despite the cold.) I sat and watched them for a few pieces (something by Mozart, "The Can-can", and the opening of Carmen) and gave them a couple of pounds. I also took a picture:

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Small World?

Hamlet closed with its last performance last night. I thought I'd try to see whether I could get a return ticket because...why not? However, I later heard that people had lined up for return tickets beginning the night before, so it's not surprising that I didn't get one when I went to the theatre only 45 minutes before the show was due to start.

When I met Peter De Jersey from Hamlet the other night, I asked whether he'd miss it when it was done. He said that he wouldn't because he was bound to work with everyone from the production again at some point or another and he was excited to be moving on. Not being very gifted at small talk, at the time it didn't occur to me to ask what he would be doing next. Instead, I asked whether that indicated that the community of actors here was small. He responded that he didn't think so, but that there were a lot of projects over the course of time. Now, I'm wondering how true that is...

As I mentioned previously, after meeting Julian Bleach and having him tell me that he was playing Mr. Sowerberry, the undertaker, in Oliver!, I had the tune for "That's Your Funeral" running through my head all day Friday, though I couldn't remember most of the words. So, I figured I'd try to go see it. Why not, eh? I was able to get a ticket to the matinee performance yesterday. It turns out that it was starring Rowan Atkinson, whom some may know as Blackadder or Mr. Bean, as Fagin. It also starred Burn Gorman, whom I know as Owen Harper from Torchwood and jaderabbit knows as Mr. Guppy from Bleak House, as Bill Sikes. (I have yet to see that version of Bleak House, but intend to watch it sometime.) Although neither Blackadder nor Mr. Bean fit my sense of humor exactly, Atkinson was quite funny as Fagin. I really enjoyed his rendition of "Reviewing the Situation" and there was a new twist to Fagin being concerned about Oliver seeing his stash of jewels. He seemed to be enjoying wearing the jewels, including a tiara, quite a lot, so when he discovered Oliver awake, it seemed as if he was as concerned about Oliver having seen him try on the jewels as he was over whether Oliver had seen where he kept them. *lol* Bill Sikes as a character is harder to judge because there's nothing humorous or subtle about him. I will say, though, that I thought Gorman had the presence to pull it off, which surprised me. The woman playing Nancy, Jodie Prenger, had been chosen for the part in a competition similar to "American Idol." She had a good voice and wasn't inappropriately bright or cheerful as Nancy, unlike what cynodd and I noted in our old high school's production of Oliver! this past spring. (To be fair, I'm not certain that any average high school aged girl would really understand Nancy's situation. I certainly didn't when I participated in Oliver! many years ago.) At the production I saw, Oliver was played by Harry Stott and the Artful Dodger was played by Ross McCormack (based on their photos in the program). I thought that the boy playing the Artful Dodger was particularly talented and fun to watch.

But, back to Julian Bleach...it turns out that he played both Mr. Sowerberry, the undertaker, and Dr. Grimwig, the doctor (obviously). I was sitting as far back as row S in the stalls, but I'd never have known him to be the same person I met the other night, if he hadn't told me. Knowing it was him, as I did, I could say that his nose was the same. Otherwise, he looked very cadaveric (which fits an undertaker, I suppose) and moved as a nimble charicature of an illustration in a version of Dickens's book. He was very funny, too, as Mr. Sowerberry. When I got back to the hotel, I decided to look him up on the internet to remind myself what he really looked like. Here is a photo of him from the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Tempest a few years ago. As I was looking for a photo, though, I came across his "filmography" and discovered that I'd seen him before on television: he portrayed Davros in the finale of Doctor Who, series 4, and the "ghostmaker" in a series 2 episode of Torchwood, "From Out of the Rain" (the evil circus episode). It's a shame I didn't know that at the time I met him or I'd have told him how creepy I found him in Torchwood. Hopefully, he'd have taken that as a compliment. ;-)

So, given the number of overlapping actors in just these few shows, it's hard for me to believe that the theatre community is really that large...

ETA: I said there was nothing humorous about Bill Sikes, but that's not entirely true. The way he pulled his loot out of various hiding places on his person to give it to Fagin was done in a very amusing way... Also, Gorman received quite a few boos from the audience during the closing bows. However, he smiled at it, so hopefully that was a good thing...traditional or something.

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a confession...

As I'm spending this evening in a hotel room, I thought I'd take some time to write about my trip to London, so far. I'm here to see Hamlet and Twelfth Night. On arriving Wednesday morning, my main goal was to make sure I was rested enough to enjoy the performance of Hamlet last night. Fortunately, even though I arrived at the hotel hours before their normal check-in time, they had a room for me and I was able to take a nap. I have to say that I didn't do much else on Wednesday - just wandered around central London on foot (everything is so close that I wouldn't have bothered with the Tube in the past had I known), had dinner, and stopped in at a Waterstone's Book Shop to get a copy of Twelfth Night. I had plans to read it before I saw the performance, as it's been more than 15 years since I read it. (Although the Royal Shakespeare Company's Manifesto on learning Shakespeare emphasizes active involvement in the plays, either acting or watching, which I don't dispute is a good thing, I personally learn better by reading than I do by hearing. Given the rapidity of speech from good actors, the accents, and the difficulty of this older version of English, I'd like to make sure I understand it.) However, I haven't yet started reading it...I felt too tired for Shakespeare Wednesday night, so I just read a bit further in A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin, which jaderabbit and her husband gave me to borrow when I visited them in November. (I'd have gotten to it sooner, but I was reading The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie and was very busy with the holidays. So, I'm about 150 pages into it and was interested to see that lunas_ceiling just posted her thoughts on it. I don't want to read what she wrote until I'm finished with it, though. Unlike cynodd, I never skip to the end! *lol*)

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

This is my tree, showing all the ornaments.  I finally got all the gifts wrapped and put under the tree this afternoon.  You can also see part of the lighted garland I have running up the stair banister.  Like lunas_ceiling , I thought I'd show some of the other decorations in my house, too.

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And, with that, I'm preparing to watch It's a Wonderful Life. :)

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A Series of Unfortunate Events

Never visit Zingerman's Bakehouse when you're hungry. I went there on my way home today to find a cake for a Christmas dessert (I settled on a Buche de Noel) and also ended up buying a pan of cinnamon rolls, an over-the-moon pie (sort-of an expensive Ding Dong - $4 each), and a tin of their "Fancy Schmancy" cookies for my Grandmother. Unfortunately, I'd missed lunch because, by the end of the morning, I was 2 hours behind in clinic and used the lunch hour to become only 1 hour behind. (Usually, I'm about 1 hour behind and use the lunch hour to mostly catch up, so I have time to eat a few bites between patients...but, not today. *sigh* I did eat 2 cookies from a tray that someone brought to the staff room, though.) After finishing clinic, I decided I'd rather just go home than eat hospital cafeteria food. And, again unfortunately, it was a mess on the roads with all the snow. It took me 3 hours to get home.

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ETA: And, things must be looking up because I see that 2 of the discharge summaries in my inbox have been done... That greatly increases the chance that they will all be done by tomorrow and I can have my day off. :)


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So _that's_ what this song is about! LOL

This is for anyone who thought this was one of the most awesome videos ever back in the 80's.

Take On Me: Literal Video Version

Thanks to son_of_darkness for originally linking to this. :)

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As I was driving home today, I heard a story on NPR about how Coldplay is being sued by guitarist Joe Satriani for copying their Viva La Vida from his If I Could Fly. They said there was a YouTube video demonstrating the similarities between Coldplay's Viva La Vida and Satriani's If I Could Fly, which is purely instrumental. Actually, I found 2 videos, the second of which seems to be Satriani's music with someone singing the Coldplay lyrics along with it?

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According to NPR and all the news stories I saw on this, Coldplay is being sued for plagiarism...but, I thought that plagiarism was purely an academic term and one could only be sued for copyright infringement? Is it different with music than it is with the written word?

Also, here is a new trailer for the Doctor Who Christmas special:

It seems not particularly informative or exciting, though the sound quality is better than the previous trailer that I'd seen. (ETA: I still can't quite understand what the older man is saying at the end, though. Monstrous...something? The woman responds, "Merry Christmas to you, too.") I remain most intrigued by the opening 2 minutes of the show (broadcast to raise money for the BBC's Children In Need), which makes it look very interesting, amusing, and fun. :)

Behind the cut for anyone who missed it before...*cough*cynodd*cough*Collapse )

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All good things...

Unfortunately, I've been out of touch with my LJ recently. (I was sick at a time when work was extremely busy, but am better now.) So, I missed last week's excellent news that The Lexicon: An Unauthorized Guide to Harry Potter Fiction will be published next month. It seems that with a lot of hard work and determination, Steve Vander Ark has revised his manuscript to make it compliant with the September 2008 court decision, which confirmed that unofficial guides to literary works should not be prohibited as long as they don't use too much text from the original work.

Congratulations, Steve!

It'll be exciting to see it in bookstores finally! :)

Also, I updated my "home theater" with a new plasma HDTV - it's a thing of beauty, all sleek and black and the perfect size for my room. The picture on the TV is great, too! *lol* I also got the Blu-Ray DVD player to go along with it. I don't have any Blu-Ray DVDs, yet, but it plays regular DVDs, too, which is convenient. I'd previously been under the impression that Blu-Ray players wouldn't play regular DVDs and that everything I own would need to be replaced, if I ever got one.

The Blu-Ray player "up-converts" the old DVDs quite well, so they're very clear - I can now see all the appalling skin flaws of my favorite actors and actresses! :-D (No one should be worried about that, since it just makes them seem more like real people, rather than divine beings to be placed upon pedestals.) Actually, the thing I notice the most, strangely enough, is the fabrics used for costumes. For example, it was only after watching the Doctor Who series 4 DVD set that my parents got me for my birthday on this new set-up that I realized the Doctor's blue suit isn't solid blue - it has reddish-orange pinstripes in it! *geekily excited by being able to see this*

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